(Editor's note: This is the first part of our special Video Preview, a close look on the 10 teams competing in the NCAA basketball tournament this season.)
SAN Beda guns for a fourth straight men’s basketball title in Season 89 of the NCAA with a new coach in Boyet Fernandez and the core of last year’s champion team led by ace point guard Baser Amer.
Fernandez took over the coaching reins from Ronnie Magsanoc, who steered the Red Lions to their 18th championship last year in the country’s oldest collegiate league.
“Basta nag-ready kami, preparado kami every game. I believe malalampasan din namin ‘yung pressure na ‘yun,” said Fernandez.
“And hopefully sa trabaho namin at sa ilalaro ng players ko, siguro we have a very good chance of winning the four-peat. But hindi madali ‘yun, ta-trabahuhin namin ‘yun.”
Aside from Amer, named Finals MVP last season, team captain Rome dela Rosa along with veteran forward Kyle Pascual, and Ola Adeogun are also expected to provide the leadership in its quest for NCAA greatness.
The Mendiola-based squad also got an added boost following the return of the Semarad brothers – David and Anthony – in its lineup.
But the team’s so-called `Super Six’ must not be overlooked as they are also back for another tour of duty with the team.
Yvan Ludovice, Art dela Cruz, Utoy Abarcar, Ritchie Villaruz, Dave Moralde, and Jun Bonsubre bravely carried the Lions on their shoulders during the team’s first game last season and emerged triumphant against Arellano University, 81-71, despite San Beda missing majority of its star players due to suspension.
Even with Jake Pascual, Melo Lim, and Anjo Caram no longer around, San Beda remains confident in its drive for 'Roar For Four.'